Earth to get a mini moon in November? Here's what NASA experts say
New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: The space object, which is on track of being pulled by Earth's gravity, can become a 'mini-moon' in November 2020. The object, dubbed as 2020 SO, will then revolve around the planet for several months. However, scientists at US space agency NASA suggested that the newly discovered object could be space junk or an old rocket from a failed moon-landing mission 54 years ago. According to their observation, the rocket is now making its way back home that is why it appears close to the Earth's orbit and due to gravity, it might get stuck there for a few months.
"I'm pretty jazzed about this," Paul Chodas told The Associated Press. "It's been a hobby of mine to find one of these and draw such a link, and I've been doing it for decades now."
Chodas revealed that the object was found when the researchers in Hawaii spotted a mystery object through a telescope, heading towards Earth orbit. According to the scientists, asteroid 2020 SO, is actually the Centaur upper rocket stage which was discarded in 1966 while landing NASA's Surveyor 2 lander.
"A telescope in Hawaii last month discovered the mystery object heading our way while doing a search intended to protect our planet from doomsday rocks. The object promptly was added to the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center's tally of asteroids and comets found in our solar system, just 5,000 shy of the 1 million mark", he added.
The scientists are now working on to know the identity of the cosmic asteroid. The scientists said that this object is a near-circular-object around the Sun, which is quite unusual for an asteroid. Also, this asteroid is approaching Earth with a fast speed of 2,400 kph.
"I could be wrong on this. I don't want to appear overly confident. But it's the first time, in my view, that all the pieces fit together with an actual known launch," Associated Press quoted Paul Chodas as saying.
Posted By: Srishti Goel